• 2011 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Mercedes GP Preview

      The penultimate race of the 2011 Formula One World Championship takes place in Abu Dhabi. Round 18 will be hosted at the Yas Marina Circuit and is the season’s only day-night race. The light are switched on from the start of the race to ensure a seemless transition from day light to darkness. The first F1 race in Abu Dhabi was held in 2009 as the last race on the calender. Jessen Button had already secured the world title with Brawn GP(now Mercedes GP), while Sebastian Vettel and Rubens Barichello were battling for second place. Sebastian Vettel would go on to win the race, while polesitter Lewis Hamilton retired on lap 18 with brake failure.

      In 2010, the race provided more excitement, as the F1 championship title was still up for grabs. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was leading the Red Bull drivers, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel by 8 and 15 points respectively. Mclaren's Lewis Hamilton was mathmaticaly still in the race as he was 24 points behind Alonso. Sebastian Vettel would go on to win the race and the championship by 4 points, after Alonso and Webber were both stuck behind 6th place finisher Vitaly Petrov for the final 37 laps. With that win Vettel became the youngest ever F1 world Champion

      Even though Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull have claimed the Driver's and Constructor's Championships, all driver and teams are still looking to improver their standings. In the Mercedes GP stable, only 5 points separate Rosberg and Schumacher. Schumacher has steadily improved and has finished ahead of his teammate four times in the last six races. Nico is still remains upbeat and happy that the Mercedes GP team has improved and is hoping to challenge the faster teams and even possibly score a podium finish in the remaining two races of the season.

      From Michael's perspective,

      “the season’s ending is coming up with some quite spectacular races; after the debut in India last weekend, we are now heading to the equally impressive Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi next week.

      "The twilight race here certainly delivers a very unique atmosphere and challenge, and I truly enjoyed driving in those conditions last year when I was doing so for the first time. I hope that we can carry on our good team performance next weekend, at the home race for Aabar, and I look forward to scoring more points.”
      Nico believes that Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is another great Hermann Tilke-designed track:

      “I like it very much. It’s a fantastic setting with the track winding around the harbour and the hotel, and there is always a great atmosphere there with so many fans. I have good memories from last year’s race and racing later in the day makes an interesting change to the usual race weekend format.

      "I felt very comfortable in my car over the Indian Grand Prix weekend, and I’m planning to build on the result there in Abu Dhabi. I hope that we can get closer to the fastest teams for the last couple of races this season, and we are pushing very hard to achieve that.”
      For Ross,

      “the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the final ‘home’ race of the year for the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team. Our shareholder and partner Aabar Investments is based in Abu Dhabi, so it will be a busy and exciting race weekend for us, with special events taking place at the race track and in the city. The Yas Marina Circuit is without doubt one of the most visually impressive Formula One facilities to have been built in recent years. The race has very quickly established itself as a wonderful, sell-out weekend, loved by drivers, teams, fans and guests alike. We are looking forward to our visit, and of course the added challenge of the later start and ‘twilight’ race."

      Performance-wise, the team enjoyed a strong weekend in India, and hopes for more of the same at the season's penultimate race: "On the back of a two-car points finish, and a very good team performance, at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, we will be working towards a similar result in Abu Dhabi. It would be a very great pleasure to achieve this at Aabar’s home race.”
      Norbert believes that

      “after a very successful premiere in India, Formula One's third visit to Abu Dhabi will highlight another of our sport's proudest success stories of recent years. The facilities and welcome at the Yas Marina Circuit are second-to-none and embody the commitment to excellence that defines the country's relationship with our sport. The circuit features relatively few high-speed corners, so mechanical grip and traction are at a premium, while the powertrain is also highly stressed: the percentage of the lap spent at wide open throttle, as well as the total number of gearshifts in the race, are both well above the season average.

      "Our target in Abu Dhabi is to build upon our recent form, which has seen at least one of our drivers finish among the top six in four of the last six races. This is the maximum we can currently achieve, given that the six cars of the three top teams are generally producing better lap times than our current technical package. Like Germany, Great Britain and Malaysia, Abu Dhabi is one of our ‘home’ Grands Prix, where we will recognise the exemplary support and commitment of our partner and shareholder Aabar and mark an important milestone in our racing year.”
      F1 TIMETABLE(Local Time)
      Fri 11 November 2011
      Practice 1
      13:00 - 14:30
      Practice 2 17:00 - 18:30
      Sat 12 November 2011
      Practice 3
      14:00 - 15:00
      Qualifying 17:00
      Sun 13 November 2011

      F1 TIMETABLE(Eastern Time)
      Fri 11 November 2011
      Practice 1
      04:00 - 05:30
      Practice 2 08:00 - 09:30
      Sat 12 November 2011
      Practice 3
      05:00 - 06:00
      Qualifying 08:00
      Sun 13 November 2011

      F1 TIMETABLE(Western Time)
      Fri 11 November 2011
      Practice 1
      01:00 - 02:30
      Practice 2 05:00 - 06:30
      Sat 12 November 2011
      Practice 3
      02:00 - 03:00
      Qualifying 05:00
      Sun 13 November 2010

      This article was originally published in forum thread: 2011 F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Mercedes GP Preview started by Scourge82 View original post
      Comments 28 Comments
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Ecclestone was allmost sucking Vettels ear...
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        Bernie reminds me of the troll priests from 300.

        awesome fight between Jensen with no KERS and Webber with DRS.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        And Hammilton wins, with the puncture of Vettel his main rival of the race was gone.
        Alonso had a very strong race, never giving up and pushing Hamilton until the finishline.
        Button thirs, hampered by a malfunctioning KERS.
        Webber 4th, Massa 5th, Rosberg 6th, Schumacher 7th
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        Great win for Hamilton, he needed it. It sucks Jensen was taken out of the fight because of his KERS failure.

        Pretty funny almost everyone just ignored the blue flags this race


      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        The Mercedes GP team started the race with aggressive battle on their first lap. On the exit of the first corner, Nico ran wide which allowed Michael to pass him, but Nico never gave up and passed him after a brief wheel to wheel battle. After that Nico never looked back and finished the race 23 seconds ahead of his older team mate in sixth place. After being passed by Rosberg, Schumacher also fell to Force India's Sutil, but managed to pass him in the pits, to finish behind his teamate.

        The big story of the race was Vettel's retirement. At the start of the race, Vettel was firmly in control going into the first corner, but on the exit and going into turn two, Vettel's rear tire blew sending him into the run off area. He managed to nurse his car into the pits, but the damage to the car was too much and had to retire.

        Hamilton, took advantage right away and immediately put a decent gap between him and a hard charging Alonso, who overtook Webber on the first corner and then Button on the straight. Alonso tried to give it everything but Hamilton always answered back. In the end it was Hamilton seeing the checker flag first, claiming his third win of the season.

        Button managed to finished in third place after a KERS failure for most of the race. Webber and Massa tried to take advantage of Button's woes. Webber kept the pressure on Button, but the Mclaren's high top speed, helped Button stay on top. By the time Massa joined the battle, Button's KERS came back online and immediately began increasing the gap.

        Webber finished forth with ease, after Massa spun out toward the end of the race, finishing in fifth place. Di Resta in his Force India finished in ninth place with his one stop strategy. Sauber's Kobayashi finished in tenth place a full lap behind.

        For Michael, it was

        “a reasonable race today and some reasonable points I would say. Considering that we did not manage to find the perfect balance yesterday, we managed to get the maximum out of our situation today. But then, I did lose some small parts of the car which cost us some balance, and towards the end I had a slow puncture, which is why I had to park my car at turn two.

        The tyres gave up rather early in the first stint but that was due to our tyre strategy yesterday when we wanted to save a fresh set for the race. I therefore had quite used tyres for the start. We now have to look into the data and make sure we are well prepared for the last race of the season which we want to finish as well as possible.”
        Nico felt

        “the race was quite interesting today. The start didn’t work out very well as I tried to overtake Felipe but suddenly there was no space left. Michael was able to overtake me, and we had a fun battle before I took the place back. From then, I was able to handle my tyre situation very well. I stayed out a bit longer before the second stop as there was some grip left, and it was better to stay out with the softer tyres. With the prime tyres, I had some understeer which made it impossible to overtake Felipe towards the end.

        Thanks to my engineering team who did a brilliant job here and I was quite happy with my car all weekend. Our pit stop guys were also great again, and that’s why we achieved a good result today. It makes me look forward to Brazil and hopefully we can achieve another good result there.”
        Ross said after the race

        “A very lively first lap between our drivers today which was highly entertaining. We’ve often said that they are free to race as long as they keep it sensible, and it was good to see today. Nico had the stronger pace this evening, and his lap times during the race were quite encouraging. Our performance today reminds us of the little bit that we have to close down to become truly competitive, but it is within reach. Both Nico and Michael drove extremely well, and with good pit stops and a sound strategy, we achieved possibly the best results that we can at the moment.”

        For Norbert,

        “sixth and seventh places for Nico and Michael are the best possible results with our current technical package, and our team has now finished in the top six rankings for the fifth time in the last seven races. These positions are certainly not our ultimate target but during the building-up time of our team, it is nevertheless positive to get the best possible results.

        A big thank you to the organisers of the spectacular race here in Abu Dhabi which creates a great atmosphere and fantastic television images. In this ‘home’ race for our team, we have achieved the results that we are currently capable of, and we want to come back next year with a quicker car and a better performance for our partner and co-owner Aabar. Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes for their victory today, which is the 71st Grand Prix win for McLaren Mercedes."
        Full Race Results
        Pos Driver Team Grid Time Points
        1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 2 97:11.886 25.0
        2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 5 +8.40 18.0
        3 Jenson Button McLaren 3 +25.80 15.0
        4 Mark Webber Red Bull 4 +35.70 12.0
        5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 6 +50.50 10.0
        6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 7 +52.30 8.0
        7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 8 +75.90 6.0
        8 Adrian Sutil Force India 9 +77.10 4.0
        9 Paul Di Resta Force India 10 +1 lap 2.0
        10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 16 +1 lap 1.0
        11 Sergio Perez Sauber 11 +1 lap 0.0
        12 Rubens Barrichello Williams 23 +1 lap 0.0
        13 Vitaly Petrov Renault 12 +1 lap 0.0
        14 Pastor Maldonado Williams 24 +1 lap 0.0
        15 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 15 +1 lap 0.0
        16 Bruno Senna Renault 14 +1 lap 0.0
        17 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus 17 +1 lap 0.0
        18 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus 18 +2 lap 0.0
        19 Timo Glock Virgin Racing 19 +2 lap 0.0
        20 Vitantonio Liuzzi Hispania Racing 22 +2 lap 0.0
        Ret Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso suspension failure.
        Ret Jerome DAmbrosio Virgin Racing mechanical failure.
        Ret Daniel Ricciardo Hispania Racing a technical problem.
        Ret Sebastian Vettel Red Bull a puncture.

        Click here to enlarge
      1. Yukohama's Avatar
        Yukohama -
        wow what a turn of events!! now i really must download this race haha
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        It was surprisingly a great race. the last 2 races here where kinda boring, but DRS and KERS helped alot this time. A lot of good fighting for 3rd place between Button, Webber, and to an extent Massa.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        @Scourge82 great report as always.